FAQs: MMS messages

MMS messages may contain static images, GIFs, or MP4 video content. Generally, MMS messages drive better CVRs and CTRs than regular SMS messages. This is especially true when the message includes complementary information, such as an image of the featured product. Regardless, you should always run A/B tests on your campaigns and journeys to best understand your particular audience.

As you incorporate multimedia in your messages, use this guide to optimize engagement and address frequently asked questions.

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Note: Images may appear differently for subscribers, depending on their device. Carriers and devices may shrink or enlarge images to accommodate screen sizes. In this article, we use an iPhone 12 Pro for our screenshots.

How should I size my media?

File sizing varies depending on the type of media you want to include. The size of the file has a direct impact on MMS deliverability and speed. Regardless of the file size, subscribers can click or tap the media to see it in full size. Because of this, we recommend aiming for the following sizes:

  • Image or GIF: 200KB; however, each image or GIF can be up to 500KB (limited to 300KB in the period leading up to Black Friday/Cyber Monday in order to alleviate congestion)
  • MP4: 200KB; however, each video can be up to 600KB

For media that doesn't fall within the size ranges mentioned above, we recommend erring on the side of larger, rather than smaller, than the suggested ranges. Devices automatically scale down large media; however, media that’s too small doesn’t render the same.

What file format should I use?

File formatting recommendations vary depending on the type of media. Use the table below to select the most appropriate file format:

Media type File format
Static JPG or PNG
Animated GIF
Native video MP4

Should I export my image as a PNG or a JPG?

The format of your image depends on the type of image you are exporting. PNG is a lossless compression file format, which we recommend using to store drawings, text, and iconic graphics at a small file size. JPG is a lossy compressed file format which we recommend using to store photographs at a smaller size.

However, to compress the file size below 500 KB, we recommend formatting it as a JPG image. This is because you can compress the quality of the JPG, whereas a PNG image only optimizes once. The downside is that the quality of the JPG may vary depending on the platform.

What aspect ratios can I use?

There are no restrictions on aspect ratios for your media; however, we recommend applying consistent aspect ratios to all of your media to simplify the processes of managing and preparing multimedia content. If you use the same aspect ratios across your MMS messages, you can more quickly format large batches of images or videos.

Static images:

Use the table below to measure the pros and cons of each image aspect ratio:

Aspect ratio Exportation Pros Cons
375 x 375 (square) 2x Easiest to accurately format Size is limited to the maximum message width.
375 x 500 (portrait) 2x Appears larger than other aspect ratios in an MMS Must include a margin or spacing on the outside to ensure that the thumbnail doesn’t crop the image.
500 x 375 (landscape) 2x You can incorporate an image or video screenshot that’s currently formatted with landscape proportions.

Most devices default to portrait orientation, which causes them to shrink landscape images to fit the narrow width.

Must include a margin or spacing on the outside to ensure that the thumbnail doesn’t crop the image.

750 x 750 (square) 1x Easiest to accurately format Size is limited to the maximum message width.
750 x 1000 (portrait) 1x Appears larger than other aspect ratios in an MMS Must include a margin or spacing on the outside to ensure that the thumbnail doesn’t crop the image.
1000 x 750 (landscape) 1x You can incorporate an image or video screenshot that’s currently formatted with landscape proportions.

Most devices default to portrait orientation, which causes them to shrink landscape images to fit the narrow width.

Must include a margin or spacing on the outside to ensure that the thumbnail doesn’t crop the image.

In the screenshots below, the square media appears the largest despite the landscape and portrait content having larger dimensions. This is because the phone shrank the portrait and landscape images to fit within the dimensions of the text message. The same applies to video content.

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Videos and GIFs:

Content of interest for GIF files and video content varies depending on the aspect ratio. We recommend ensuring that important content doesn’t exceed the measurements in the Avoid content of interest column, as it may get cut off.

Use the table below to measure the pros and cons of each video aspect ratio.

Aspect ratio Avoid content of interest Pros Cons
480 x 480 (square) Top: 39px
Bottom: 39px
Left: 43px
Right: 39px
Easiest to accurately format. All content is included in the image
Size is limited to the maximum message width.
480 x 640 (landscape or portrait) Top: 65px
Bottom: 58px
Left: 39 px
Right: 39 px
You can use this to resize and reformat the ratio of existing video content (e.g., social media posts) below 500KB. May accidentally crop video content.
480 x 720 (landscape or portrait) Top: 39px
Bottom: 39px
Left: 44px
Right: 39px
You can use this to resize and reformat the ratio of existing video content (e.g., social media posts) below 500KB. May accidentally crop video content.

 

How do I incorporate a GIF in a message?

You can include animated images with the GIF file format. GIFs have the same formatting requirements as static images. In order to optimize your GIFs, we recommend adopting these best practices:

  • Keep animations short. Longer GIFs result in larger file sizes and a higher likelihood that subscribers won’t watch them in their entirety.
  • Keep animations simple. We recommend simple looping animations, such as holiday banners, quick shots of products, or memes.
  • Optimize GIFs with Photoshop. If you’re editing your animations in Photoshop, these settings will help you further customize the MMS message:
    • Use the perspective setting.
    • When exporting, click Save for Web.
    • Avoid using Diffusion in your Transparency settings.
    • To reduce the file size, upload your GIF as a video and delete alternating frames. Then, increase the gap between frames to 0.8 seconds.

How do I compress my MP4 content?

We recommend using the FreeConvert File Converter or the Veed.io Video Compressor tool to ensure your video content remains under 600KB. However, be aware that compressing the video affects the quality of imagery and audio. Because of this, we don’t recommend compressing very long content.

How long should my video be?

Keep your video under 10 seconds. Longer videos require additional compressing, ultimately affecting their audio and visual quality.

How should I edit my media?

When incorporating images or videos in your messages, it’s important to follow these recommendations:

  • High color contrast: The background of the image should have a clear distinction from the imagery on top of it. This ensures that it doesn’t appear as a blurry or solid-colored image.
  • Contrasting gradients: If the gradient is too close in color, it might appear as a solid color.
  • No transparent background: Images with transparent backgrounds appear with a solid, random-colored background to subscribers.
  • No borders: On iOS devices, borders appear offset and shifted to the right of the image. This is due to the arrows at the bottom of the text message bubble on iOS devices.
  • Minimal opacity transitions: You should be mindful of opacity transitions in GIF or video frames, as these can result in random colors appearing during the transition, or a much larger file size.

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